Osaka political party demands legislative action

    The Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party (Nippon Ishin) has demanded that the ruling party move forward immediately with gambling addiction legislation with the intention of enacting it in the current Diet session, which ends on December 9th.

    This demand was delivered in a face-to-face meeting inside the Diet Building on Monday between Japan Innovation Party Secretary-General Nobuyuki Baba and Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai.

    The ruling party’s Nikai was noncommittal in response, “We cannot reach our objective simply by submitting a bill, but we will step up our efforts a little more, look at the overall situation, and make a judgement.”

    Baba countered, “Establishing gambling addiction prevention measures is an urgent task for our nation.”

    The head of the Japan Innovation Party is Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui, who is pushing intently to make Osaka Yumeshima the location of Japan’s first major urban IR. He hopes to see it open its doors in 2023 or 2024.

    The obvious objective of the Japan Innovation Party’s demand is to get the gambling addiction legislation quickly out of the way as a means of clearing the decks for passage of the IR Implementation Bill at the earliest opportunity in next year’s Ordinary Diet Session.

    While the Japan Innovation Party is now a fairly small opposition party, its right-leaning political ideology makes it a comfortable partner for the Abe government in terms of Constitution revision and other matters. It might be considered more of a potential ruling coalition partner than an actual  opposition party, and for this reason it has a degree of leverage within ruling party circles.